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Traditional or Trendy Tree Trimming Tips…say that 5 times fast!

08 Dec

cgg delaney decorating the tree
written by Janet Harrold

Your tree should be a reflection of your love of art, let your personality shine through! Whether you like a traditionally decorated tree full of classic color tones and years of memories that your children have created, or you want to glam it up a bit with a trendy dramatic color palette of shiny copper and teal over sized ornaments, sprayed metallic  leaves and a tree topper of fancy feathers. These few tricks of the trade will help to give you a more polished and professional look.

The Lights   The more lights the better! Colored lights vs white lights….again, decorating your tree is a personal preference and the color of lights that you choose is not as important as the way you hang your lights. When installing your them. Don’t forget to start from within, close to the trunk and work your way out to the tips giving your tree more depth and dimension.

The Ornaments   Many of us have a variety of shapes and sizes so when hanging your ornaments don’t just hang them anywhere. Dangle them in empty spaces…i’m not a fan of having ornaments sit on the branch below it, when this happens the tree  tends to look rather “clunky.”   Just as you did with your lights, dangle some of the heavier, larger ornaments in deep and towards the middle or lower portion of the tree to distribute the weight more evenly and  balance them off with smaller shapes and sizes on the outside branches and towards the top region of the tree.

The Tree Skirt ahh, so many options for your tree skirt.  This is an area where you want to open up your mind and think outside of the box. Don’t limit yourself to using just any ole  “tree skirt” under your tree, utilize other fabric options such as a gold or red curtain or an under used Christmas table cloth.  A gray and white  chevron  pattern for a more modern look, and if yours is a  traditional tree, a ruffled  burlap cloth  is very handsome. For the young at heart instead of a tree skirt how about an electric locomotive train set.

The Tree Topper For many, the most important part of the tree. This can be the single feature that ties your entire tree together. It can be creative, sentimental or elaborate. A few suggestions can be as simple as a large bow, a finial,  a lighted star or an angel that your kindergartner made out of a paper plate and glued glitter on the wings.  The choice is yours and the possibilities endless.

The Most Magical Time of the Year

08 Dec

written by: Janet Harrold

Andy Williams sang it best and we  couldn’t agree more-“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”

cgg arch

Chilly sweater weather, rich hot chocolate, fresh fallen  snow, hosting Holiday parties  and having a custom wreath designed for your front door by Cedar Grove Gardens, these are just a few things that I think of once December arrives. The countdown is on and we are decking the halls. We are  ready and able  to assist in making  your Holidays as magical as they can possibly be. We are also super excited for the  launch our new website!

We have been diligently working on our new site and are very excited for you to see it. I’m so proud to have the opportunity to chronicle some of the day-to-day operations that “Team Cedar Grove Gardens” has to offer.  What  can you expect from our new site?  You can expect to read regular blog postings, keeping you informed about upcoming Holidays, wedding trends and tips, plant care, sales, and day to day  happenings. You can expect to see new product, better visuals and explanations of who we are and what we have to offer you, our loyal customers. A description and calendar of the events we offer here in the shop, and so much more.  As you already know we are a full service florist, we specialize in wedding designs, corporate work, funeral arrangements and we provide  flowers for all occasions, we can enhance and beautify any space, but did you know that we have a luscious garden center  that changes with every season? One of the services that we provide through the  garden center is the customization of  container gardens! Our garden center is ever changing with the seasons and currently boasting my favorite color…December!   Our garden center  is filled to the brim with all of our  winter trimmings and seasonal offerings. Another service that we  offer is home and business decorating services. Our highly skilled decorators and designers love to decorate for the holidays in a unique way that will leave a lasting impression.

Our extensive gift shop  is like no other, one of Dorchester’s hidden gems for sure. In the past, only our local customers were able to shop our selection of unique gifts, but not anymore, our new website will give you a sampling of gifts that we offer and can be ordered and shipped anywhere in the U.S. just in time for the upcoming Holiday Season! At least twice a year we shop the world to bring you unusual treasures. These are just a few things that you can expect to find on our new site. So please take a minute to view it,  we sure hope that you enjoy our new site and check back often as we promise to keep it fresh and as always keep you engaged and inspired.

 

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts as we discuss….

 

Tips on caring for your poinsettia, trimming your tree and holiday and gift giving ideas

 

Holiday Plant

25 Nov

written by Janet Harrold

From tall stalks to heart shaped foliage amaryllis, poinsettia and cyclamen are a few holiday favs. Great for gift giving or decorating here are a few tips to keep your blooms flowering all winter long.

Probably the most common plant is the infamous poinsettia. Often times when you think of a poinsettia, you think of the color red, but these amazing plants come in a variety of colors. In part thanks to hybridization as well as breeding. We have the good fortune of seeing poinsettias in many shades of red ranging from burgandy to oranges, but pink is also a demanding color choice- a solid soft pink, or a hot pink they also come in white, salmon apricot, yellow and they even come in blue believe it or not! A few unusual speckled and marbled varieties have names to suit their unique look such as ‘Jingle Bells” and ” Candy Cane”

poinsettias

Whether you decide to decorate with your humble poinsettia or bring it to a Christmas party as a hostess gift, remember just a few quick tips. Avoid hot or cold drafts, poinsettias are highly sensitive to cold temperatures-be sure it does not get bit by the wind , not even for 1 minute or you will surely loose them. Keep the soil moist (not soggy) and place in a room with bright light and is 60-70 degrees.

Often times people ask about keeping their holiday beauty from one year to the next, as this is definitely something that can be done, it is often times more work than it is worth, with proper care your plant will probably last longer than your desire to keep it.  With that in mind, I opt o buy a new one each year and the hunt to find new varieties is always a welcomed challenge.

if poinsettias are not your thing…

don’t despair, they are certainly not the only choice in the greenhouse. As a matter of fact, your hostess just may embrace an alternative to the other 4 red poinsettias brought in by their other generous guests.

Cyclamen is definitely one of my favorites, they come in a variety of colors as well. Pinks, reds, whites etc. but to me the most attract part of this hardy plant is it’s eye catching heart shaped foliage often times they have a lacy silvery pattern appropriate for holiday gift giving.

Winter-Flowers-1

If it’s a huge satisfying bloom you’re looking for why not choose amaryllis? With it’s tall stalk of colorful blooms, it’s another favorite holiday plant. You can choose amaryllis in a variety of ways,  as a plant, a cut flower or in a kit providing a fun project for kids and adults to chart the growth and see the undeniable reward as it performs. Amaryllis come in so many colors and varieties, guaranteed to be a showstopper and deliver a sensational winter display.    

cut amaryllis  

The Bow Ladies are Here

20 Nov

The Bow Ladies

written by Janet Harrold There is no denying it, it is that wreath making, back breaking, picture taking time of year! People come from miles around because they know that the best way to make a great first impression is by hanging one of our custom and creative one of a kind personal  wreaths to their front door. It is one of  our biggest draws this time of year. A unique service that we provide our customers and one that can’t be beat. Wreaths are traditionally hung on the front door to provide a festive welcome. We enjoy embellishing our wreath’s with added fragrance and textures  that we get from pine, incense cedar and a variety of mixed greens.  Each season we offer new and exciting ideas and our ribbon is always the best quality.

If your entryway needs more than just a wreath on the door, we also stock pine and balsam  roping to wrap banisters, railings or to lay on top of a mantel.  If you prefer that we decorate for you, just call us.An easy way to spruce up your winter landscape is by adding one of our custom made container gardens.  Our container garden designs overflow with fragrance, filled with white pine boughs, balsam fir tips and finished with winter berries red twig dogwood or birch  branches for a  bursts of the unexpected. ..

Picking The Perfect Wedding Flowers

18 Aug

written by Janet Harrold After 30+ years of making beautiful wedding designs for excited brides, I must say that things have changed dramatically and so have our brides. Today’s brides are much more educated and detail orieinted. Years ago the most you would see is a bride who came in with a swatch of fabric that was given to her by the bridal shop , or a clipping from a magazine. Today’s brides come into an appointment well prepared with ipads, wedding planners and ideas that they pinned on their pinterest boards. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, it sometimes makes our job a bit easier when the bride can share her vision and sometimes it makes it a bit more difficult, but often times it means getting married today is both a lot of work and a lot of fun. I admit at times it can be stressful to be able to pull off such a big day with the incredible elegance that you see when you arrive at the venue as an invited guest.

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The final result is a generally a team effort of many professionals that the bride and groom has carefully orchestrated over a fairly long period of time. The decisions they have to make can be a bit overwhelming.

That is why we do our very best to take the pressure off of our brides. Flowers are a key component not only to the overall look of day, but for years after as you reflect back on your photos and videos. That is why we typically establish a relationship over the course of a year or so. Sometimes a little less, other times a little longer. We talk about your vision for the day, the colors that make you happy and the overall feel of the atmosphere. We make site visits to the venue when needed, we consider the season and advise you on which flowers look their best at different times of year. We make samples for you to approve a few weeks before your day so that there aren’t any surprises the day of the wedding.

Richard during a wedding consult with flower samples.

Richard during a wedding consult with flower samples.

 

If you or someone you know is getting married, let us guide you in the direction of  beautiful flowers, that is the least that we can do.

Tips For Planting Tomatoes in Massachusetts

24 May

written by Janet Harrold It is finally time to plant tomatoes! Tomatoes are one of the most rewarding plants to grow in your garden. You can also plant them in containers on your patio or porch, we also have them in earth friendly peat moss containers that can be planted directly in the ground. Most of our tomatoes are locally grown here in Massachusetts so it’s a sure bet that with full sun you will have no worries growing yours.

how-to-plant-tomatoes-205 A couple of simple tips will seal the deal and provide your family with delicious juicy tomatoes all summer long. They also add nourishment to your dinner, sandwiches and salads. The kids will be amazed as they watch them grow.

Tomatoes need lots and lots of sun, so be sure to select an area that they will thrive in.

Tomatoes like regular even water. A common mistake that people make is letting them get too dry and then heavily watering. This kind of watering is what typically leads to cracking.

Trim suckers…suckers tend to develop between the two stems, this is sometimes recommended because the leafy growth of the new stem is competing and taking away the nutrients of the original plant.

We recommend planting a variety of tomatoes in your garden, here are just a few favorites that we currently have in the garden center:

  • Better Boy
  • Sun Gold
  • Early Girl
  • Husky Cherry Red
  • Super Steak
  • Super Sweet 100

Seeds are in!

07 Mar

Well, it’s getting to be the time of year to start planting seeds. We pride ourselves in carrying the highest quality products. After careful research we are so excited to carry a collection from “Botanicle Interests” They are a fabulous supplier out of Colorado. They believe as we do, that in order to have a successful and beautiful garden you must first educate the consumer. They have taken the time to put helpful information inside and outside of the package.

seed-packages community_seed_to_saucepan On the outside of the package you will see a beautiful illustration of the variety as well as other important information like whether you should sow the seeds inside or outside, it tells you what time of year to sow them and how long it will take to see these beauties pop up. My absolute favorite part of these packets is on the inside…inside you will find delicious recipes, this way you achieve the absolute most from your work. As they say on their website, they take you “from seed to sauce pan”

What a wonderful reward to not only be able to grow these vegetables but to serve a sumptuous and enticing dinner! Planting a garden with children  can spark new interests and inspire them to try new and healthy foods. The following is a recipe that I got from their website and I hope it will be one of many more to come!

Corporate Incentive, Flowers & Plants in the Workplace

01 Mar

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Now that the recession is doing better and spring is just around the corner, let us put a smile on your face as you begin your work week. Recent research proves that flowers and plants in the workplace can not only beautify the surroundings but increase creativity amongst employees. (Sell that pitch to your employer and you can receive a $100.00 gift certificate to Cedar Grove Gardens). It shouldn’t be that hard a sell as I am speaking the honest truth.

It’s the first impression that lasts the longest. call us for a free corporate consultation. We work hard to understand what works best in your desired location. Whether it be a window display, a corporate reception desk, a restaurant or a hospital lobby, we will work together to find the appropriate design that fits your style.

If you refer Cedar Grove Gardens to someone who sets up weekly corporate designs from us, we will give you a gift certificate for $100.00 after 3 months of successfully servicing them. It’s that easy, let the referrals begin!

sunflowers-in-vases

Learn More About Compost

27 Feb

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Compost? Our first “Grubby Writer” article is written by Jeffrey Margulies of Roslindale:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Compost

Compost (play /ˈkɒmpɒst/ or /ˈkɒmpoʊst/) is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. At the simplest level, the process of composting simply requires making a heap of wetted organic matter (leaves, food waste) and waiting for the materials to break down into soil after a period of weeks or months.

800px-Compost-dirt

make-a-garden-compost Let’s compost. It’s simple, safe and fun.   A composting bin is simple to set up. It’s safe from children and critters. It’s fun to walk outside, feel the sun and make an eco-deposit. We built a bin with wooden loading pallets, chicken wire and a front door on the bottom to extract the “black gold”.

You don’t need to do all the work. There are 2 composters I would recommend. At gardeners.com, check out the Deluxe Pyramid Composter (It comes in black and brown). Another favorite is at compostbins.com look at the Exaco Theramaquick 110 Gallon Recycled Plastic Compost Bin. With a name like that, you would think it would cost $599. but,you can buy it on sale for less than $100.

deluxe-pyramid-composter

Also think about the Single Bin Wire Composter. It’s a convenient and tidy way to store your leaves, grass clippings, weeds and other yard debris (no twigs)- they decompose really slowly). Both the bins appear to have good aeration, controlled entrance of water, a large opening on top for easy turning and stirring and a good sized door for easy access to your finished product. When you get the bin, till the soil underneath for drainage-there won’t be a bottom. Put a 6″ to 12″ mixed layer of leaves, grass,weeds, hay, straw, (not too many pine needles), and any kitchen scraps you’ve already accumulated, in the bottom of the bin. The more you shred, the faster everything will decompose.

exaco

From here on, it’s really easy. Place a sealable container next to the sink for easy scraping of plates. A caveat: no citrus, meat, poultry or fish. Remember, the smaller the pieces, the quicker the decomposition. Deposit the contents every 3-4 days. Throw it all around. Drop a thin layer of your leaf, etc. mixture in the bin and stir it and turn it over a little. You don’t have to do this every time-just when you see the scraps accumulating. We’ve cut down on our trash by 75% and we don’t have to buy any “enriched soil”.

You’re going to have to wait for the warmer weather for decomposing to start. But it’s worth waiting for!

If you would like to guest blog join our “Grubby Writers” in writing helpful gardening tips, see our submissions blog for details, looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Call for Submissions “Grubby Writers”

18 Feb

fence It seems as though February just may be a quiet time for outdoor gardens, and with few visits from Jack Frost this winter, I am really eager for the spring and having intoxicating thoughts about getting down and dirty in my spring and summer garden. I am wondering who in our Neighborhood is having some of these same dirty thoughts? If you are passionate about gardening and enjoy writing, I would like to have you guest blog on our website. It is my intention to get a few good writers and a few good gardeners hand picked from our very own neighborhood, give them (you) recognition and share your passion and your knowledge about topics that you enjoy. They can be insightful, witty, edgy and/or entertaining, but they must be factual! If you would like to be a part of what I am calling our “Grubby Writers” by supplying content and photos and having us Publish them on our blog for everyone to read, please contact me. harrold.janet@gmail.com

Articles should be 500 words (give or take) and we maintain editors rights and can change words as we see necessary. This will be fun, I have listed a few Titles to get your creative juices flowing, you can choose one of these titles and run with it or you can choose one of your own. But, you must contact me first, this is not a paying position, just an opportunity to be involved in our community and to be recognized for your hard work. Have fun and be inspirational.

Our first “Grubby Writer” will be Jeffrey Margulies from Roslindale, he will be writing about “Compost, Compost, Compost” You can expect to read his Article next week and I hope to have you all sign up with me soon!

Other suggested Titles you can choose from include but are not limited to:

  • “Vegetable Gardens” (Beet the heat) (Stringin’ Beans)
  • “On the Edge” or “Edgy” (gardens that act as borders)
  • “Counting Birds” (things you can do to encourage wildlife)
  • “Wild about Susan” (wild flowers to include black-eyed susans)
  • “Herb Garden” (including recipes for rosemary chicken or Basil pizza)
  • “Fun things to grow in the City” (suitable for Urban cultivation)
  • “For less weeds toss seeds” (from seed)
  • “Garden Dilemmas”
  • “Garden Humor”
  • “Patty-O Perrennials” (container gardens for the patio)
  • “Cold Climate Gardening”
  • “The story of a Garden”
  • “Cold Frames”
  • “Only Organic”

Anyway, you get the idea, if you are interested in becoming one of our “Grubby Writers” email me harrold.janet@gmail.com looking forward to hearing from you soon.